Travelers spent nearly $40 million on lodging in Tampa Bay
TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 21, 2014) – Overnight visitors to Tampa Bay pumped $39.8 million into local hotels in July, an increase of 13.4 percent over the same month last year, according to new figures released today by Visit Tampa Bay.
The figures from Smith Travel Research were presented this morning to Visit Tampa Bay’s board of directors by President and CEO Santiago Corrada.
“The numbers continue to be very, very strong,” Corrada said. “Not only was July strong, but I’m really excited about what we’ve seen in August.”
Hotels were two-thirds full during the month, a rise of 4.7 percent over a year ago. Hoteliers averaged nearly $87 a room-night, an increase of 6.3 percent over 2013.
July’s numbers include the first two weeks of operating for Aloft and Le Meridien, two new hotels that opened in mid-July in downtown. Aloft opening in the former Mercantile Bank building, 100 W. Kennedy Blvd. Le Meridien opened in Tampa’s historic federal courthouse, 601 N. Florida Ave.
Among its competitors for tourism dollars, Tampa has outpaced all but Charlotte, N.C., so far this calendar year when it comes to average hotel occupancy. Tampa is up 5.6 percent. Tampa’s 8.1 percent growth in average daily hotel rate is second only to Nashville, Tenn.
So far this year, Tampa Bay hoteliers have sold nearly 3.4 million room-nights, up 5.4 percent over last year.
Aside from Charlotte and Nashville, Tampa competes for convention and leisure travelers with Fort Lauderdale, Orlando in Florida; Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio in Texas, Milwaukee, Wis., and Baltimore, Md.
ABOUT VISIT TAMPA BAY
Visit Tampa Bay leads the effort of economic development through tourism. The mission of Visit Tampa Bay is to create vibrant economic growth for the Tampa Bay area by selling and promoting the Tampa Bay destination. The independent not-for-profit organization represents more than 700 businesses throughout the area and works to ignite interest for Visiting Tampa Bay.